Energy has many definitions in the English Dictionary. On the most basic level, energy is a scientific measure of ‘power derived from the utilization of physical or chemical resources, especially to provide light and heat or to work machines.(Oxford Dictionary)’’. The focus of this article is not the above definition.
The focus of this article is the first definition of energy in the Oxford Dictionary which says that energy is ‘’the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.’’
When we talk about maintaining high energy and we aren’t talking about the energy derived from food, it can easily sound like pseudo-science. To be entirely clear, I am not talking about some magic way of sustaining energy without food but instead I am arguing that we often have more than enough physical energy to do everything we want to and instead what holds us back is a lack of mental strength and vitality.
Therefore, for the purpose of this article, we’ll define being ‘high energy’ as having the mental strength and vitality to do all the things you want or need to do during your day enthusiastically. Of course, in turn, I think it’s pretty clear that having this sort of high mental energy leads us to finding physical energy reserves we didn’t know we had! It is no secret in exercise or in life that our minds sometimes give up long before our bodies do. We do far less than we are capable off, not because our bodies are weak but because we give up or hold ourselves back mentally.
Now that the definition is all cleared up, without further ado, here is my list of 5 compounding ways in which we can have an abundance of energy!
1. Don’t judge or criticise yourself or your life. Appreciation and curiosity can be more positive and pleasant drivers of action than dissatisfaction. I think a part of us believes that if we accept everything in our life, we will become stuck and passive. But, in truth, acceptance of our current circumstances is a solid grounded base to take action from. Being grateful for the things we have can allow us to spot opportunities and take action calmly and confidently rather than in a rushed, panicked manner.
‘’Accept—then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.’’ – Eckhart Tolle
2. Focus on the thing that is right under your nose rather than a million things in the near or distant future.
‘’The idea is, you know, you live from moment to moment…this moment decides the next step. You shouldn’t be five steps ahead, only the very next one. And if you can keep to that, you’re always alright. You see, but people are thinking too far ahead…you know what I mean? Think only what’s right there. Do only what’s right under your nose to do. You know? It’s such a simple thing and people can’t do it, you know.” – Henry Miller
3. Have silence in your life. Our eyes, ears and brains need a break from constant stimulus in order to function properly.
4. Find those few things that you seem to have energy for no matter what and continue to make time for them. For me, no matter how tired I think I am, when I walk onto the mats at my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy, it’s rare that I’m not suddenly filled with an abundance of energy. Reading a book that restores my perspective and reminds of what’s important have a similar effect. A current favourite that I’ve been reading again and again is The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer – Chapters 15 and 17 in particular.
5. Conversely, recognise what activities make you feel more low in energy, even if they are commonly thought to be relaxing. E.g. if I spend a few hours watching television, I usually end up feeling more lethargic than relaxed at the end of it.
6. Above all, take everything lightly. Our personal set of problems aren’t really as serious and life-changing as our minds make them out to be. Taking things lightly means we are less likely to freeze from fear and be unable to take action.